Pool on TV - a fantasy

JWM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool needs to be on television!!!!!!! It needs to be seen by all people,like it or dislike. In the 1980's, it was on and i believe it really helped the game!!! Look what tv did for poker!!!!!
 

skipbales

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yesterday I was at a 4th of July party, and up on the big screen was the annual Nathan's 4th of July hot dog eating competition in Coney Island. It was on ESPN. The winner, 12-time champion, ate 71 hotdogs in 10 minutes. He holds the world record at 74 hotdogs!

I watched this messy event, along with a party of others, and I couldn't help think, "ESPN shows this, but not professional pool."

Anyway, today I was browsing YouTube matches and came across a very good example of why I think pool died in major broadcasting.

This clip is from the IPT 2005 8ball King of the Hill Championship, Mike Sigel vs Efren Reyes. I watched 10 minutes of it and had already had enough of the bs commentating. There were 3 commentators, each taking turns making up rediculous things to say, so rediculous that about any pool player would recognize the stupidity. One of the commentators was a pro player, yet she chimes in with plenty of over-the-top dumbing down, I suppose for the benefit of non pool players watching the match at home. Just watch and listen for a couple of minutes beginning at 08:32. Keep in mind that when ESPN shows football, baseball, golf, or ANYTHING else, the commentators are not dumbing it down with too much explanation, not pretending a lucky occurrence is the result of miraculous skill, not inventing excuses for errors or making up historical facts to justify simple mistakes.

https://youtu.be/U_a2zMFGMQE?t=512s

I had had enough of it because I'm a player myself and I found the comments to be too annoying, so I put my tv on mute. But if I wasn't a player I think I would've changed the channel because the commentators give this false impression that what these pros are doing is just so incredible that no other pool players could do it. If I were an eager young man listening to these comments, thinking I'd like to learn how to play, I'd believe I'd say, "Damn, I'll never be that good!"

Does anyone else think that honest commentary, where mistakes are acknowledged and not glossed over with pure fantasy and excuses, would make televised pool more realistic, more down to earth for average viewers? Or is this old clip just a rare exception of poor commentating?

I think the short shot clock helps move things along too. Makes it hard for the players but easy on the watchers. It is tough to watch someone think for 5 minutes.

Commentary is a big part of it too. Like you, I have watched matches with commentary in a foreign language, I did not understand, that were better than some in English. I watched a match recently where two commentators mis guessed every shot the players picked. Some of the thoughts they had were ridiculous. Kick this ball into that ball, go two more rails then ... And the player picked a different ball and just cut it in. Another program had the commentators talking about everything except the game. It is probably hard to get a commentator who understands pool and is also interesting to listen to.
 

ctyhntr

RIP Kelly
Silver Member
FWIW, The Hustlers reality show was getting around 200K viewers, and they got cut for lack for viewership.

The other option is to pay for airtime, like the early morning infomercials and religious sermons.

US Open, World Pool Masters, etc being shown on facebook, sub 5000 viewers.

Nothing is shown on tv with that viewership.
 

one stroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Snooker commentators are not gentle about mistakes. Snooker commentators are often former world champions who speak well. Some of them have funny accents, but most of those I find charming -- I imagine that all of them would pronounce "Efren" name with an "N" sound.;) Often the snooker commentators give useful technical insights into what is going on.

Maybe snooker is doing something right.

And has for many many yrs , snooker there is a top tier sport , not way down the line like pool is here ,


1
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool needs to be on television!!!!!!! It needs to be seen by all people,like it or dislike. In the 1980's, it was on and i believe it really helped the game!!! Look what tv did for poker!!!!!
Poker took off because of the $$$$$ to be won. Pool was popular pre-casino days. Once casinos were on every block pool suffered badly. Also the players themselves kinda shot themselves in the foot more than once. What pool REALLY needs(especially here in US) is young players. I live in what was once a serious pool hotbed and currently there are NO players under the age of 20. Nobody. If the next generation don't arrive quick pool is in bad shape. From what i hear its the same pretty much nationwide. VERY few players younger than 30, most older than that by quite a bit.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Poker took off because of the $$$$$ to be won.

More specifically, it took off because players with modest credentials regularly managed to make millions at a time playing it. It had a "lottery" element. Yes, everyone knows the Chris Moneymaker story, but I recall one year an accountant named Dannenman came second and won over $4,000,000. In one of the interviews, he claimed that he was probably just the fourth best player in his weekly poker game at home.

If pool had the $10,000 entry fee that the World Series of Poker has, and huge payouts for the top few, it still wouldn't attract great participation among players, because fringe players cannot possibly outduel all of the top pros.

Some will recall that the 2017 US Open 9-ball was the first to jack up the entry fee to $1,000. Sure enough, they weren't able to fill the field of 128, settling for 113 entrants. Fringe players in pool know it's not worth the risk.

Poker players know that they can, and often do, finish higher than the best pros, because the luck factor keeps them in with a chance. Pro pool's badly mistaken philosophy is that doing everything imaginable to try to take luck out of the game is in its best interests.
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Poker is only popular because of the hole card cameras.

If those were never invented, then it would never be on TV.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Poker is only popular because of the hole card cameras.

If those were never invented, then it would never be on TV.

Yes, but with or without TV, poker would continue to attract thousands and thousands of dreamers every year at the World Series of Poker.
 

skipbales

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
More specifically, it took off because players with modest credentials regularly managed to make millions at a time playing it. It had a "lottery" element. Yes, everyone knows the Chris Moneymaker story, but I recall one year an accountant named Dannenman came second and won over $4,000,000. In one of the interviews, he claimed that he was probably just the fourth best player in his weekly poker game at home.

If pool had the $10,000 entry fee that the World Series of Poker has, and huge payouts for the top few, it still wouldn't attract great participation among players, because fringe players cannot possibly outduel all of the top pros.

Some will recall that the 2017 US Open 9-ball was the first to jack up the entry fee to $1,000. Sure enough, they weren't able to fill the field of 128, settling for 113 entrants. Fringe players in pool know it's not worth the risk.

Poker players know that they can, and often do, finish higher than the best pros, because the luck factor keeps them in with a chance. Pro pool's badly mistaken philosophy is that doing everything imaginable to try to take luck out of the game is in its best interests.
The luck factor in pool is too insignificant for the average player to dream they could win millions of dollars playing it. Not so in poker. Luck factor can be HUGE. That is why there are so many one time winners.
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes, but with or without TV, poker would continue to attract thousands and thousands of dreamers every year at the World Series of Poker.

Of course, but I thought the topic at hand was about niche sports being popular on television.
 

Bic D

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yesterday I was at a 4th of July party, and up on the big screen was the annual Nathan's 4th of July hot dog eating competition in Coney Island. It was on ESPN. The winner, 12-time champion, ate 71 hotdogs in 10 minutes. He holds the world record at 74 hotdogs!

I watched this messy event, along with a party of others, and I couldn't help think, "ESPN shows this, but not professional pool."

Anyway, today I was browsing YouTube matches and came across a very good example of why I think pool died in major broadcasting.

This clip is from the IPT 2005 8ball King of the Hill Championship, Mike Sigel vs Efren Reyes. I watched 10 minutes of it and had already had enough of the bs commentating. There were 3 commentators, each taking turns making up rediculous things to say, so rediculous that about any pool player would recognize the stupidity. One of the commentators was a pro player, yet she chimes in with plenty of over-the-top dumbing down, I suppose for the benefit of non pool players watching the match at home. Just watch and listen for a couple of minutes beginning at 08:32. Keep in mind that when ESPN shows football, baseball, golf, or ANYTHING else, the commentators are not dumbing it down with too much explanation, not pretending a lucky occurrence is the result of miraculous skill, not inventing excuses for errors or making up historical facts to justify simple mistakes.

https://youtu.be/U_a2zMFGMQE?t=512s

I had had enough of it because I'm a player myself and I found the comments to be too annoying, so I put my tv on mute. But if I wasn't a player I think I would've changed the channel because the commentators give this false impression that what these pros are doing is just so incredible that no other pool players could do it. If I were an eager young man listening to these comments, thinking I'd like to learn how to play, I'd believe I'd say, "Damn, I'll never be that good!"

Does anyone else think that honest commentary, where mistakes are acknowledged and not glossed over with pure fantasy and excuses, would make televised pool more realistic, more down to earth for average viewers? Or is this old clip just a rare exception of poor commentating?

I remember watching this event and thinking how incredible biased Loree Jones was towards Mike Sigel. At one point during the first few games, Efren made a length of the table cut in the far corner pocket and as it's getting ready to go in, you can her Loree jon saying "no, no, no, no". It was painfully obvious who she wanted to win.

It was also the tournament that turned me off of Sigel who all his disrespectful talking and cussing while Efren was shooting. Sigel was my favorite player back then too.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
It was also the tournament that turned me off of Sigel who all his disrespectful talking and cussing while Efren was shooting. Sigel was my favorite player back then too.

Know what you mean. Mike was definitely my favorite player in the 1980's but I tired of his act, too. One of the all time greats for sure, but he lost me as a fan.
 

vinay

Registered
More specifically, it took off because players with modest credentials regularly managed to make millions at a time playing it. It had a "lottery" element. Yes, everyone knows the Chris Moneymaker story, but I recall one year an accountant named Dannenman came second and won over $4,000,000. In one of the interviews, he claimed that he was probably just the fourth best player in his weekly poker game at home.

If pool had the $10,000 entry fee that the World Series of Poker has, and huge payouts for the top few, it still wouldn't attract great participation among players, because fringe players cannot possibly outduel all of the top pros.
.

There's much more to it than that. Top golf tournaments pay out millions of dollars and are televised, but the average player has zero chance to win or make the money in one of those tournaments. I think golf is even more boring to watch for non-players than poll is and yet there it is on ESPN and what not.
 

JolietJames

Boot Party Coordinator
Silver Member
I'm probably mistaken, but I feel a flashy tournament with teams, short races, intelligent commentary, and bright lights -like the Cup, could draw viewers. I'd like to see them sell the TV rights at cost in hopes to get a major network to air it once. I feel there is a chance it would gain some popularity and perhaps be marketable in future years. jmho
 

CaleAYS

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It’s always bothered me that whenever pool is on TV is the use of the nicknames. It’s dated and comes across as super cheesy. I know nicknames have been around forever, but it’s hard to get people to take something serious when you’re calling every single player some super cheeseball nickname. They are forced and it really cheapens the players. Anybody imagine if Tiger Woods got called Robocop Tiger Woods or Tiger Torpedo Woods every time he was on tv? No. Because he’s a golfer and not a wrestler in the WWE. Another way pool needs to catch up when on tv imo.
 

mista335

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yesterday I was at a 4th of July party, and up on the big screen was the annual Nathan's 4th of July hot dog eating competition in Coney Island. It was on ESPN. The winner, 12-time champion, ate 71 hotdogs in 10 minutes. He holds the world record at 74 hotdogs!

I watched this messy event, along with a party of others, and I couldn't help think, "ESPN shows this, but not professional pool."

Well also on ESPN I saw some crazy game where people threw small bags into a hole in the wall.

I guess they might even show people flicking rubber bands into a waste paper basket before they show any pool
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm probably mistaken, but I feel a flashy tournament with teams, short races, intelligent commentary, and bright lights -like the Cup, could draw viewers. I'd like to see them sell the TV rights at cost in hopes to get a major network to air it once. I feel there is a chance it would gain some popularity and perhaps be marketable in future years. jmho

in terms of production and commentary it was brilliant this year. definitely on par with many other sports aired on sky sports. the quality of play was alright too and there was plenty of drama
 

Shuddy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It’s always bothered me that whenever pool is on TV is the use of the nicknames. It’s dated and comes across as super cheesy. I know nicknames have been around forever, but it’s hard to get people to take something serious when you’re calling every single player some super cheeseball nickname. They are forced and it really cheapens the players. Anybody imagine if Tiger Woods got called Robocop Tiger Woods or Tiger Torpedo Woods every time he was on tv? No. Because he’s a golfer and not a wrestler in the WWE. Another way pool needs to catch up when on tv imo.

Blink and you’ll miss him, Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan.

“The Wizard of Wishaw”, John Higgins.

Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White.

“The Thunder from Down Under”, Neil Robertson.

“The Darling of Dublin”, Ken Doherty.

“The Pistol”, Mark Allen.

Stuart “Ball-Run” Bingham.

...and the list goes on and on. I quite enjoy the nicknames. They not only give a personal touch to the players behind the glass, but give you insight into their style. I suspect there are bigger issues at play.
 
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